How do you start and finish a put play online? Do I place a sell at a stop limit? I am trying to set up a Stop Loss. I did a SELL ORDER and key in the stop loss target. However there are 3 choices: Limit, Stop and Stop Limit. Which one do I pick? (March 20, 2001)

  Both questions cover similar ground, so we are combining the answers. Starting a play is a buy order to open a position. In that respect it is just like any other order. To close it, you place a sell order, either one to be executed immediately (market or limit order, though we always use limit orders) or a stop loss or stop limit order. A limit order is a buy or sell order saying you want to buy at the price you enter or a better price. A stop loss order is an order to sell at a specific price. The order is triggered if there is a trade at the stop loss price. That is why we like very liquid options to be able to use stop losses; if a trade is not made, the stop loss is not triggered. If the price moves past your stop loss price without a trade and then trades at a lower price, your stop loss then becomes a market order and you are taken out at the next lower trade. A stop limit is a stop order to sell at a particular price. If the price of the stock or option falls through the stop limit without a trade, the next lower trade will NOT trigger a stop limit. You are saying you want to sell at that price and no other. A stock can gap below your stop limit price and then rebound and you are taken out on the rebound. A stock can gap below your stop loss price and rebound, but if there is a trade below your price, you will be taken out at that lower price. That is why we often cancel our stop loss orders when there is news after hours that is going to cause a stock or the market to tank on the open. We don't want to be taken out at the lows of the day.

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